It’s the first day of autumn! (Or the second, depending on when you read this.)
What better way to celebrate than with another edition of Classic Creepy Commercials, featuring all sorts of eerie ads from the ‘80s and ‘90s? (I mean besides a cool walk under moonlight scored by the sweet sounds of Ministry.)
The first four commercials were donated by Larry P., friend to fiends. The last one’s from me.
Bartz Displays Halloween Sale! (1982)
Oh boy. Before you skip this one on account of the not-so-catchy title, know that it’s easily in the top five Halloween commercials that I’ve ever featured on Dino Drac. No, I’m not overselling it. Just click play.
The commercial, which plays out like a fever dream from an Alan Ball drama, promotes the big Halloween sale at Bartz Displays. Chiefly featuring Bartz’s costume collection, we intrude on balls-out bizarre Halloween party, where dozens of weirdos in wildly disparate disguises bop around a dark, dank parallel dimension.
Since gory and monstrous costumes were there in such volume, it’s oddly the squeaky clean ones that’ll make you shiver. Watch this commercial, and then tell me you weren’t just a wee bit unsettled by Donald Duck and Yoda. Holy shit, this one would’ve been nightmare fuel even without the ersatz Madd Matt on voice-over duty. Read More…
Put simply, a yard haunt refers to the assemblage of Halloween decorations on one’s front lawn. Media attention focuses on those who go all-out, with thousands of dollars’ worth of spooky scenery. In truth, you could put two plastic skulls on your stoop and call it a “yard haunt.” That’s the beauty of it!
Yard haunts are quietly one of the best things about this season. Who hasn’t driven around their neighborhood on some October evening, marveling at everyone’s macabre creations? It’s Halloween in its purest form.
I’m impressed when a family takes their decorating to theme park levels, but I’m even more charmed by the “simpler” yard haunts, which utilize found or homemade items, and nail a certain “crude charm” better than anything else on the goddamned planet.
You should know the type, because so many of us grew up making them. Between the slapdash scarecrows and the cardboard tombstones, they were testaments to our creativity… and to our general unwillingness to spend more than a half hour doing anything.
Those sorts of yard haunts looked — and still look — something like this:
Granted, that’s staged from my back deck, but had I assembled it on the front lawn, it’d look no different. My spread includes all of the major yard haunt bullet points, and best of all, I couldn’t have spent more than five bucks on it.
Mileages vary, but as I see it, the classic, screwy, cheapo yard haunt primarily consists of five items. If you’d like to make your own, start with this junk: Read More…
If you’re charmed by the idea of “Halloween cereal” but find the usual crop a bit too juvenile for your tastes, here’s one for the more sophisticated palate:
Okay, so maybe I’m stretching things. Just a little.
Still, Kellogg’s new Pumpkin Spice Frosted Mini-Wheats is by far one the least “cartoony” of this year’s autumnal breakfast offerings, and if you don’t believe me, just check out that box. It looks like a Food & Wine cover!
(Huge props to the designer on this one. It’s the most fall-centric thing I’ve seen all year, evoking everything from farmer’s markets to late October picnics. Thank you, cereal box, for inspiring me to learn more about flour and foliage.) Read More…
Apparently, my new thing is posting ten seconds before midnight. I’ve decided to roll with it!
It’s time for the latest episode of The Purple Stuff Podcast, with me and Jay from The Sexy Armpit. In tonight’s show, we’re talking about all sorts of PUMPKIN MONSTERS from all walks of pop culture. Basically, any character that can be perceived — however loosely — to be part pumpkin.
From Sam of Trick ‘r Treat fame to Blobkin the Halloween Boglin, I think we hit all of the major ones. Know of any more? Tell us in the comments… or just discuss the weird creatures mentioned in this episode!
Thanks so much for listening! Read More…
Hello! Since I want a raise but don’t have a boss to ask, it looks like I’ll have to grab the bull by the horns, or take the reigns, or whatever the saying is. I don’t know. Hey, look, I have Envelopes of Evil for sale!
Note: This is a one time sale that is not connected to my monthly Funpacks. The Funpacks are still going strong, and they’ve been a blessed thing in helping me to continue the site, but since there’s an obvious financial ceiling with those, I’ve decided to occasionally do one-off sales to pick up the slack.
The Envelopes of Evil are priced at an even $20, and that include shipping. They’re only available in the United States. What’s inside? Well, look below! Read More…
While searching eBay for goodies to cover during this year’s Countdown, I discovered several items that were perfect in every way… except price. I’ll take a dive on certain items, but I gotta stop short of paying 400 bucks for rubber sharks.
Still, some of those items were just too cool not to feature here, so if you’ll pardon me for borrowing photos from faraway eBay sellers, I think you NEED to see these seven Halloween and horror toys from decades past. If you’re a fan of monsters who just happens to be flush, go make some bids. I’ll be jealous as fuck.
Titles below link to the auction listings, and if you’re seriously interested in any of this stuff, I assume that most sellers would be willing to haggle. The rest of us will satisfy ourselves by ogling from afar!
Asking Price: $184.95
The Soma Toys company — no strangers to making bizarre figures with a quirky, generic appeal — really hit it out of the park with this guy. Originally (and more famously) known as 1986’s Monster Man, a quick upgrade to the packaging turned him into the official Halloween Monster!
He’s part of a larger series of similar figures, all equally weird, which seem to have been crafted as the low-rent, lower-price answer to Hasbro’s Inhumanoids.
It’s easily in the top ten figures that I simply MUST OWN before death, and while loose versions can be found for a hundred dollars cheaper, that tacky Halloween packaging is so worth paying double. Read More…